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REPORTS have for some days run wild in Riversdale, to wit, orders have been received for the preparing and embellishing the fine old castle, standing far away in solitary 'grandeur on the hill-side, and anon the duke and his family are coming to reside there.

This news caused Charles and me much apprehension and annoyance, more so to him than perchance to me, poor fellow. It is now only too clear to me that a great love of Ennis Denzell is taking possession of his whole strong nature, and she-ah, therein lieth the bitter trouble to me! for is it well, or is it not well? -but she careth nought for him, worse than nought, in truth. I know, albeit he says nothing on the subject, that he perceives her

indifference, but imputes much thereof to girlish shyness, and dreads lest, while her feelings remain thus unbiassed, some one may appear more winsome to her young, inexperienced fancy than himself, and gain that heart-treasure he would give his all in this world to secure unto himself. This it is fills his mind with painful doubts and fears of the Riversdale family, and is one source of distress to me.

Since my childhood the grand old castle (I can just perceive it now from my window, partly concealed by the rich high wood clothing the surrounding slopes) has been to me an object of admiration akin to reverence.

Many a time Ennis and I-for the ancient housekeeper and others left in charge are well known to us-have wandered delightedly through the great deserted rooms, corridors, courts, and gardens, their silence and solitude (to me) their principal charm; but not so sure am I it was to the more blithsome nature of beauteous Ennis. Ah me! when I think now of the change that will come o'er the spirit of the scene that not this noble property only, but the whole simple village, aye, and neighbourhood, will be swarmed o'er by people



from, as it were, a different world to our own, people with manners, principles, feelings, habits, tastes, nay, their very speech, appertaining to that other creation from whence they have come, a world, loving pleasure, and hating God, -when I bethink me of all this, and the evil likely to accrue therefrom to the rustic folk of our country, yes, and, I fear me, to the young and unworldly of all classes, for how fearsomely infectious, aye, and contagious also, is that most pestilential of all diseases, “sinful example," my soul is stirred by a disquietude which nought but frequent converse with the great Ruler of the world can allay. Lady Denzell and my dear father too are both full of anxiety for the welfare of our simple and ignorant ones. However we cannot hinder the coming amongst us of these great people, if they are so minded, and all that remains for us to do is, under the assistance of our heavenly Father, to guard and guide the young and the poor with twofold care, and thus, if possible, save them from worse than death. By us I mean father and myself and Lady Denzell. I know also I can safely depend on Sir Arthur and Lady Crofton, good, excellent people, and

the kind squire, Mr. Bell, and his daughter Dora. Sorry am I that the Dormers are so distant, excellent Christian folks. Howbeit, none can say how far evil may spread, and, if so, they will for a surety withstand its entrance within those precincts under their control.

Yea, thank God, and greatly it comforts me to think so, there are-yes, truly there aremany round and about whose motto is, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord"; and I doubt not but the day of war, as the day of peace, will find them faithful to their pro


Ennis is so young and so beauteous, she is so guileless too, that, in place of help from her, she will herself need the most tender watching and care; for, though of a bright, intelligent intellect and good sense, her character, it seems to me, wants stability; it is, I fear me, weak and vacillating, and her warm-hearted, passionate nature too impulsive, too impressionable, and too yielding. But, perchance, I am wrong in this opinion. God grant I am!

This evening Dora Bell and Ennis came to

drink tea at our Rectory. Charles is with us at present.

At the first Ennis and I sat together in the bow window, and he stood before us leaning against the wall, and Dora was in the background, amusing father, in her kind way, by cheerful converse, for she, like her mother, is of a most sweet and amiable disposition. Ah, much more suited is she to a grave, sorrowstricken man, like unto poor Charles, than is blithesome Ennis Denzell!

The latter was robed in white book-muslin to her rounded throat, her neck and arms gleaming pure and colourless as snow through their transparent covering, her only adornment a few half-blown roses fastened by a gold brooch on her bosom. Adornment! what need of the foreign aid of ornament with eyes so softly luminous glancing up from under dark lashes in their shy, merry fashion, and containing in themselves a whole jewel-case of gem-beauty?

To my mental vision she sits before me still, and my brother is saying, in that abrupt, moody, albeit melancholy, tone, in which he never addresses me or others,

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